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home : columns : dear harriette April 18, 2021

2/16/2021 8:15:00 AM
Husband's new job idea stresses out spouse

DEAR HARRIETTE: Since the pandemic started, my husband has been working at home. He still has his job, thank God, but he hardly ever goes in. I'm so worried that he will end up losing his job. He is already a senior citizen. I can't imagine what he will do if he has to look for work. He has been taking real estate investing courses, but I can't envision him doing that successfully. My husband is not a salesman in any way. He refuses to speak up at work to say he is available for an assignment. In real estate, you have to hustle. It's all about being assertive and putting yourself out there. I know my husband means well, but I think it's unrealistic for him to believe that he will be able to grow a real estate business when he lacks the people skills that go with it. How can I encourage him to make a responsible choice without hurting his feelings? I'm scared to death that we will end up with nothing if he continues down this path. I work, by the way, but I don't make enough money to take care of the both of us. -- Supporting My Man

DEAR SUPPORTING MY MAN: Tread lightly. Since your husband has chosen a second career, you don't want to dash his hopes. Instead, encourage him to role-play with you. What will he be doing if he is in real estate? Ask him to practice on you. How will he pitch to a potential buyer? What would a day look like? Encourage your husband to talk through all of the details of this new line of work so that he can see for himself what it will look like. Let him discover through these conversations whether he believes he has the aptitude for it. Additionally, talk to him about retirement and how you will be able to manage as a family. Do not give up. Keep the conversation going so that you can get to the topics that must be discussed.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I was going through some boxes and things, trying to organize my house, and I came across some old love letters that I had written to a man I used to date many moons ago. While we dated way before I met my husband, I bet that these letters would be disturbing for him to find. I kept them for so long because of the nostalgia. I really loved this man. I think that I should dispose of them, but I'm finding it hard to do. What do you think? -- Letting Go

DEAR LETTING GO: Put yourself in your husband's shoes. How would you feel if you came across some of his old love letters? It's time to shred them, burn them or otherwise safely dispose of them. Live in the present. It's safer and can be more fulfilling.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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